Last November, Google’s MVNO dropped the “Project” status and added support for many more phones. Google Fi is available on iPhones, but with limitations that require you to tweak some settings for MMS and no support for voicemail in the native Phone client. An update to the Google Fi app today adds visual voicemail to iOS.
At launch, Google Fi subscribers could receive voicemail as text messages. This rudimentary method displayed transcripts in a standard conversation thread from your number. A message would include the number, length, transcript (if available), and reminder that users could call their voicemail to hear the message.
With version 1.5, visual voicemail is now available in the Google Fi app, which adds a fourth tab in the bottom bar. Your unread message count is noted at the top of the screen with the client asking for contacts (to provide names) and notification permissions during setup.
The list view notes basic details like name, date, and length, as well as a preview of the transcript. Tapping will expand to note the full message and the option to easily hear the audio. There are shortcuts to put on speaker, call back, reply via text, and delete. As messages come in, users will be alerted to quickly open and view.
Release notes for version 1.5 also note new animations and transitions, as well as bug fixes. With this update, using the Google MVNO on iOS is less of a hassle on “Compatible with Fi” phones that only leverage the T-Mobile network. During setup, Google Fi walks iPhone users through entering network details needed to ensure that SMS and MMS are properly received.
Google Fi last month celebrated its four anniversary. Unlimited calling and texting costs $20 every month, while data $10 per GB around the world. Fi offers an unlimited plan called Billing Protection that automatically kicks in when subscribers use more than 6GB per month ($60), with un-throttled data available until 15GB. SIM cards can even be purchased from Best Buy in addition to the online Fi store.
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